Hey guys, thought I’d share my recent experience of a mild build with the Cicio Performance C800 package.
My car is a 2014 GTR Track Edition which I bought five years ago. I wanted the Track Edition after reading in MotorTrend (remember them?) that it went 0-60 in 2.7 seconds! To top it off, there were only 150 made for the US, came with ducting in the front spoiler to aid brake cooling, had a stiffer suspension, and no rear seats. I think it was a whopping 6 pounds lighter than the Black edition. LOL.
I looked on AutoTrader and couldn’t find anything locally and kept expanding my search to nation-wide. I finally found a black one and a blue one in Dallas which were bone stock and low-mileage one-owner cars. I flew to Dallas (from VA) and test drove them both and bought the black one (all my cars are black, btw). The dealership shipped the car to me and I had it in my garage the next week.
I don’t think of cars as investments and I drive them when I can which is less than 1,500 miles a year for the toys. A part of me wanted to keep the car stock because it is so capable in stock form but another part wanted to start modifying it. I used to have a 1998 Toyota Supra Turbo 6-speed (in black, of course) and I see the crazy prices now for a bone stock example. But the other side won out…blame it COVID. LOL.
The car had less than 10k miles and was well maintained so I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go FBO, upgraded turbos, or a big build. As you guys know the price goes up quickly if motor and/or tranny are involved. I did a lot of research and talked to a few shops and decided on a turbo upgrade keeping the motor and transmission stock.
I spoke to Nathan Cicio and got comfortable that their C800 package would be the right choice for me. I looked at a variety of dyno charts and loved how quickly it made torque and keep it nearly flat throughout the RPM range and also how the HP didn’t drop off at redline. Cicio Performance had a sale on this package so the decision got easier.
Nathan introduced me to Jan Buhler who is the general manager of their North Shop in VA. While the C800 package had a list of supporting mods, I wanted to “over build” because I wanted the flexibility to go bigger without having to replace a bunch of parts down the road. These guys were super helpful in steering me in the right direction without selling me on stuff I didn’t need (for now at least). Picking a quality shop that has the necessary experience, customer service, will stand behind their work (1-year warranty) and is well regarded in the industry was important to me. And having an excellent in-house tuner who can extract the performance of the build in a safe and reliable manner.
The original plan was to drop off the car with Jan over the 4th of July as my family was going to the Outer Banks for a couple of weeks. Car would be done by the time our vacation ended and I’d drive back with them to northern Virginia. Unfortunately, due to COVID the Gateway turbos were back ordered and they couldn’t give me a date when they’d be available as this is an industry-wide problem. I dropped the car off with Jan because I didn’t want to make an extra 3.5 hour drive when the turbos were ready.
But before handing him the keys to my car, I got a ride in his “2SOONJR” Elite Prime-R monster. We got on the highway and did some pulls and that thing was a freaking freight train. I’ve never experienced acceleration like that in a road car before!! Unbelievable what this GTR platform supports these days.
I’d keep checking in with them and they eventually got the turbos. And he recommended upgrading the turbo inlets…but you guessed it, they were on backorder as well. Cornflakes without the milk. LOL. But this story has a happy ending.
Here are the non-standard items which I augmented the C800 build with:
· GotBoost 3” Turbo inlets (Cicio Performance spec)
· ETS Exhaust
o 3.5” V-band DP
o 3.5” – 4” V-band Mid-pipe
o 4” SS Exhaust w/mufflers
o SS slash cut exhaust tips (Cicio Performance spec)
· ETS 3.5” Air Intakes
· ETS Race Intercooler & piping kit
· Tial Q BOVs
· Cicio Performance oil catch can
· Cicio Performance coolant expansion tank
· Oil filter upgrade kit w/WIX filter
· Misc. maintenance (fluid changes, spark plugs, alignment, etc.)
· Power-coated parts in wrinkle black
As I stated, the car was bone stock and I wanted a baseline dyno run. Same dyno but different days over a 6-week period:
· Stock: 483WHP & 470WTRQ
· Gateway on Pump: 706WHP & 579WTRQ
· Gateway on E85: 812WHP & 623WTRQ
I picked up the car last weekend after much anticipation. Jan was kind enough to open up the shop for me on a Sunday even though they were closed. He walked me through the COBB maps, catch-can drain procedure, and a few other things I don’t remember anymore ;-)
It was getting late and we had to hit the road to avoid Sunday traffic back to northern Virginia. On the highway the car accelerated like never before and the spool was close to stock but way stronger from 4k RPM onwards. It was a 95F degree day and it just kept pulling to redline. I had used stock Dunlop tires so no point in trying a launch. And before long we hit a ton of traffic so I just cruised back home. Unfortunately, I don’t have any Dragy data to share but hope to update before too long.
In summary, I’m glad I went with Cicio Performance as the build easily met my expectation. The process definitely exceeded expectation as these guys are professionals and customer service is part of their brand. When I got home, I put the GTR on the storage lift. Apart from the huge SS exhaust pipe, the underside of the car looks stock. Every bolt and rubber grommet/cover was replaced. No missing parts. I appreciate that attention to detail which I know we all expect when we hand our car keys to someone else.
Anyway, sorry for the long read but wanted to share my experience on this forum.